Montana Outdoors

January 18, 2015

River ice

Filed under: Flathead river, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:24 pm

This time of the year ice builds up along many of the western Montana rivers. So far this year it is less than in many years. Following are a few photos of ice along the Flathead River a few miles from where it enters the Clark Fork of the Columbia, about 110 miles south-southwest of Glacier National Park. In more severe years, the ice in this place covers the entire river and piles up on itself.

Ice on the lower Flathead River

Ice on the lower Flathead River

Ice on the lower Flathead River

Ice on the lower Flathead River

Ice on the lower Flathead River

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40 Comments »

  1. Looks cold, but beautiful. Crispy and clean.

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    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 18, 2015 @ 9:33 pm

  2. Last year at this time it had already snowed but non so far.. Beautiful photos Terry!

    Like

    Comment by Mother Hen — January 18, 2015 @ 9:38 pm

    • We have had sub-zero nights, snow, rain, and tonight is is still above freezing. Very strange winter. Today the winds felt like a Chinook was blowing in.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 18, 2015 @ 10:32 pm

  3. Your photos are so beautiful, but they do look cold…Our winter has been pretty unusual as well. Last year it was much colder than normal, off the chart more snow. This year no snow and in January I have shrubs that are starting to leaf because of the unusually warm temperatures. Hard to get a handle on it.

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    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — January 18, 2015 @ 11:37 pm

    • It is very warm here now too, but the snow pack in the mountains is running just about normal. It almost seems that the season is pretty normal at an elevation of several hundred feet higher than the valley floor.

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:01 am

  4. Hi Montucky, Truly amazing! Looks similar to a glacier. Really wonderful views and excellent photography. Have a pleasant Monday tomorrow!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 19, 2015 @ 12:15 am

  5. Superb photos, Terry.
    The 3rd photo is rather interesting (showing the breaking off of the ice sheets).

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    Comment by Vicki — January 19, 2015 @ 12:29 am

    • Thanks Vicki! I wasn’t able to get any decent photographs of them, but waterfowl seem to consider the open areas between the ice sheets to be safe havens; ducks, geese and even a few swans.

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:39 am

  6. Love watching your beautiful photo’s – as always. This time they really seem to give some relieve in the 35C temperatures here in Perth :))

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    Comment by iAMsafari.com — January 19, 2015 @ 4:41 am

    • Thanks. It’s always fascinating to me to think that you are in the hot part of summer while we are in our winter. Too bad we can’t just change places for a week or so at a time!

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:24 pm

  7. Oh my, these are so beautiful and just so alien to what I am experiencing at the moment. We’ve just had a couple of 39C (104C) days again with 80% humidity so your ice and snow pictures are such a huge contrast. The mountains and icy river just look so grand and majestic. What a “big” country it looks! Thanks for helping cool me down with these fantastic pics. 🙂

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    Comment by Jane — January 19, 2015 @ 5:59 am

    • In the local area we are able to clearly see the scale of the mountains, although they are by far not the tallest ones. In the first picture, the mountain top in the distance is nearly a mile higher in elevation than the river.

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:27 pm

  8. Probably not a good time to launch the canoe!

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    Comment by centralohionature — January 19, 2015 @ 6:59 am

    • Probably not, although there are a few kayakers around here in winter. (I’m not one of them!)

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:28 pm

  9. Magnificent! I feel as if I’m standing in the river! 🙂

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    Comment by Jo Woolf — January 19, 2015 @ 7:22 am

    • Some years I have been able to get out on the ice, but not this year. It was very hollow at the shoreline and caved easily.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:29 pm

  10. That’s great Ice. I can imagine how it must sound when it’s grinding together. I wonder if you’ll see any ice dams this year.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — January 19, 2015 @ 7:41 am

    • It does make noise, and some of the cakes will float down past my house about 20 miles west of where the photos were taken. This place will sometimes create an ice dam, but it is not in an area where that will do any damage. Ice dams are a concern off and on all winter in some places in Montana.

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:32 pm

  11. River ice is so fascinating and quite beautiful out in the back country. Your photos are fantastic. Here when we get ice jams on our river (usually in early spring after a cold winter), it can cause flooding in the towns along the way. It still amazes me to see broken off blocks of ice floating down the river.

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — January 19, 2015 @ 8:17 am

    • When the ice breaks up during warmer spells, ice cakes float down my way and will fill the river at a rather narrow bend about a mile from me. They aren’t a problem in this area although further east sometimes they have to blast them apart to keep from flooding. I haven’t heard of that happening in years though.

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 12:34 pm

  12. wahoo! i love seeing ice in rivers!

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    Comment by Tammie — January 19, 2015 @ 11:07 am

  13. I’ve also seen some pictures of the ice piling up on the shore of one of the Great Lakes, very interesting. Does the whole river freeze at times or does it freeze in the slower waters and the lee of the river and then get pushed about?

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    Comment by Ron Mangels — January 19, 2015 @ 7:20 pm

    • Exactly what you said, Ron. I’ve not seen one of these rivers just freeze across, but many that will collect floating ice in narrow places and the ensuing jam goes bank to bank.

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      Comment by montucky — January 19, 2015 @ 8:06 pm

  14. Very dramatic, and somewhat intimidating.

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    Comment by Sue — January 20, 2015 @ 12:06 pm

    • I agree. I can still remember when I first saw this, many decades ago.

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      Comment by montucky — January 20, 2015 @ 2:58 pm

  15. Amazing! I, too, like your previous commenter have seen photos of ice piling up around Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes and creeping up on homes, doing major damage.

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    Comment by Candace — January 20, 2015 @ 10:27 pm

    • It can be an awesome force. Luckily in this local area there is nothing for it to damage, but in some places now folks are being allowed to build very close to the rivers (rather like some in Arizona who build in or very near to some of the washes).

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      Comment by montucky — January 20, 2015 @ 10:35 pm

  16. What’s so amazing is the amount of color in the photos. Trees, rocks, shrubbery, and even the river itself — they all add to the complexity and interest of the photo. I always look at the ice or snow first, but that’s because it’s so unusual and so beautiful. While the rest of the wintery landscape could be dismissed, it’s equally lovely.

    Like

    Comment by shoreacres — January 22, 2015 @ 8:31 am

    • The entire landscape, not only the animals, goes into a different phase of life during the winter.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 22, 2015 @ 10:35 am

  17. Really beautiful images ! You always have such wonderful photos of mountains. 🙂

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    Comment by Jocelyne — January 26, 2015 @ 12:45 pm

    • Thanks! Here we are surrounded by mountains… and love it!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 26, 2015 @ 8:10 pm

  18. Sigh. Amazing photos – again!

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    Comment by Sartenada — January 29, 2015 @ 12:48 am

    • That’s a place that I enjoy visiting every year about this time. It provides an interesting perspective on our rivers.

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      Comment by montucky — January 29, 2015 @ 10:30 am

  19. Oh….how I miss the mountains!!! Beautiful photographs, Terry…absolutely beautiful.

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    Comment by seekraz — January 30, 2015 @ 8:55 pm

    • I can understand how you feel about missing the mountains. They really capture your heart, don’t they!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2015 @ 9:08 pm


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